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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 07 JULY 2020 VOL 46 NO 51
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 7th July, 2020
The National Assembly met at a Quarter past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
VACANCY IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE HON. SPEAKER: On 1st July, 2020, Parliament Was Notified By ZANU (PF) Party that Hon. Killer Zivhu, Member of the National Assembly for Chivi South Constituency had ceased to be a member of Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) Party (ZANU-PF) and therefore, no- longer represents the interest of the Party in Parliament with effect from 1st July, 2020.
Section 129 (I) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that, the seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or to the President of the Senate as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it.
Pursuant to the above, I do hereby inform the House that a vacancy has arisen in the National Assembly by the operation of the law. The necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancy in line with Section 39(I) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], as amended.
PETITION RECIEVED FROM DEAF ZIMBABWE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House on Wednesday, 10th June, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, requesting Parliament to amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, Chapter 9:07 in order to protect the deaf as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe and to domesticate the United Nations Convention on the rise of people with disability. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
PETITION RECEIVED FROM BUDIRIRO RESIDENTS WATER FOUNDATION
THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that on Thursday, 18th June, 2020, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Budiriro Residents Water Foundation requesting Parliament to call upon the City of Harare to account for the preservation of wetlands in Budiriro and to compel the Environmental Management Agency to protect wetlands in the area, among other issues raised. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism.
PETITION RECEIVED FROM TAG A LIFE INTERNATIONAL
THE HON. SPEAKER: Further to that, I have to inform the House that on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2020, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from Tag a Life International beseeching Parliament to urgently protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe, including the economically disadvantaged persons to basic primary and secondary education during Covid-19 pandemic.
The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.
HON. P. ZHOU: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of privilege. I sadly inform this august House that some Members of Parliament (MPs), including me have not received their cars. With this COVID pandemic, how do we move Mr. Speaker Sir? No car, no fuel and sometimes no coupons as well.
Honestly, Mr. Speaker Sir, may you intervene on this urgent matter. Zvatiwomera. Zvavekuvhiringa kushanda kwedu. Hatichakwanise kuenda kumaconstituencies kwedu. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – [HON. SIKHALA: Hausikuziva kuti mari yakabiwa na Obedia Moyo here.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. P. Zhou, you have raised two important matters that affect the Hon. Members in total.
On the question of coupons, I think this happened the last time you were around where you were given half of your allocation – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
Order! I said the Hon. Member raised two issues. I have not finished. You received half of your normal allocation. This was brought to my attention and I asked the administration to explain and the indication was that Treasury had not disbursed sufficient funds for Parliament to pay for the coupons totally. When that was brought to my attention, I engaged Dr. Mangudya, the RBZ Governor and he expeditiously put in place some funding – forty, to get the coupons for the next batch and secondly to ensure that there was sufficient fuel for the Hon. Members. I think the garage that was assigned to do that was the one belonging to Hon. Shamu.
When I followed up the matter, all MPs who needed their fuel both diesel and petrol were given – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - You can ask for clarification. There is no point to shout. That is the information I got because I phoned and followed the matter. I was told that Hon. Members were in queues to collect their fuel.
On the question of vehicles, I have also engaged the RBZ Governor and last week he assured me that he was to put together the necessary foreign currency to back up the letters of credit which were used to ensure that the Hon. Members got their vehicles. That processes is ongoing. Regrettably, I must say the process has been very slow. As the Hon. Member indicated, the Hon. Members here present and all those that are not here require these vehicles so that they are mobile in their constituencies. I
I pledge to push the Governor of the Reserve Bank to squeeze the stone of foreign currency and see if the funds can be found expeditiously so that all members get their vehicles accordingly.
HON. MUSAKWA: On a point of clarification, some of us have constituencies which are very far from Harare – can the allocation from the service station be increased from 80 litres. We are only being given 80 litres. It is not enough for us to go and come back.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can the what?
HON. MUSAKWA: We are being given 80 litres per Member and our constituencies are very far.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Not according to your coupons?
HON. MUSAKWA: No, we are only being given 80 litres per member.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Alright, thank you for that clarification. Clerk! – [HON. WATSON: On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker!] – I deal with one Hon. Member at a time.
Thank you Hon. Musakwa, what you state is quite correct – I have checked with the Clerk. That is the time when you received less than what you normally get and I am assured that this week you should be able to get the full allocation plus what you are owed so that you are able to proceed to your constituencies accordingly.
HON. WATSON: Mr. Speaker Sir, as a matter of housekeeping and clarify; last week, we were allowed to attend committee meetings – one of my committee meetings is on a Monday and the second one is on a Tuesday. The fuel that was made available, however much it was, was only made available on Friday evening, to the best of my understanding.
It would have been extremely remiss of me to sit in a hotel until Friday to get fuel and then put my life at risk travelling at night. I think that when these things are arranged it should be done properly. As Member of Parliament, I am yet to access one litre of that fuel. It would be better if somehow these things were coordinated properly. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much, your observation is correct. There should definitely be better coordination in future. I have informed the staff that they should not wait until there is a crisis. We should be able to know by today and at the latest tomorrow, that all systems are running effectively on that matter. So your point is taken Hon. Watson.
HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, my issue was also on the fuel. I think that it has been expeditiously dealt with and we should not waste time. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you for your indulgence. – [HON. TSHUMA: On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker Sir!] - On what? The Hon. Member has just sat down and he said that he is satisfied with the clarification. – [HON. TSHUMA: Yes, but I have a contentious one with regards to fuel allocation which I need clarity on.] – I have closed that issue. I cannot move in staccatos – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – If you have any issue, you approach the Chair. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker. On a point of privilege, I would like to bring up the same point that I brought up at least three times, and that is on the special investigations audit that was done by the City of Harare for land sales, leases and exchanges from October 2004 to December 2009, which we asked the Hon. Minister to present to us for the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee. I wrote to you as well Mr. Speaker Sir and we have received nothing.
My concern Mr. Speaker is - I have it here, if the Hon. Minister the City of Harare cannot supply it then someone is hiding something. We would like that report. Thank you
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Markham. All forensic audits and other audits are by the Auditor-General and have got to be presented here in the august House in terms of Sections 11 and 12 of the Audit Act.
I had engaged the Hon. Minister and he said that he was looking into the matter. I will give him the last chance to bring that forensic audit to this august House. Thank you for the reminder.
HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hold on, just a minute.
HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker Sir, three weeks ago before the adjournment of this House, there was a question that was raised by Hon. Lynette Karenyi which I later supplemented. You informed this House that you were going to read the statement that was issued by Hon. Kazembe Kazembe concerning those people who had been alleged to be coup plotters in our country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you promised that you were going to study the statement and after studying it, you were going to bring your ruling to this House. Mr. Speaker Sir, as an astute legal practitioner – when you give yourself a dies induciae – I think you know what it means that you must fulfill it. You promised us two weeks and it is now three weeks; and we are expecting you to deliver your findings if you had given yourself the opportunity to read the statement that was delivered by Hon. Kazembe Kazembe. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. You use jaw breakers – [Laughter.] – of the legal profession. Your point of order Hon. Sikhala, indicates to me abundantly clear that some of the Hon. Members do not read the Hansard. That statement was made and if you can check with your Hansard, you will see the response accordingly. It was done as promised.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move that Order of the Day, No. 1 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 2 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BILL [H.B. 11, 2019]
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on Second Reading of the Constitutional Court Bill [H.B. 11, 2019].
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to respond to the debate on my Second Reading speech of the Constitutional Court Bill and I want to start by thanking the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for their detailed report. Mr. Speaker Sir, now allow me to respond to some of the issues that arose during the debate. I will start by addressing those recommendations from the Committee.
The first was that there should be a sub - clause in the Bill to empower the Deputy Chief Justice to exercise the powers and functions of the Chief Justice in the absence of the later. Hon. Speaker, Section 116 (1) provides for the composition of the Constitutional Court and the same section 166(1) (a) provides that the court consists of “the Chief Justice” and the Deputy Chief Justice are included there. The creation therefore of the office of the Deputy Chief Justice makes it crystal clear that the position is not ceremonial; it is a constitutional position within our Constitution. The Deputy Chief Justice therefore acts on behalf of the principal in his absence. If you look Hon. Speaker at the provisions of Clause 4 of the Bill, it provides that the court’s composition shall be as specified in section 166(1) of the Constitution. This means they shall be a Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and 5 other judges. Of importance are the provisions of section 181(1) of the Constitution which provides that...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Member Hon. Chihururu, can you respect the rules of COVID - 19 and your colleague next door there, you are shouldering each other. I do not know why – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for always reminding us that COVID is still with us. I respect the intervention in that regard. Mr. Speaker, I was speaking about the office of the Deputy Chief Justice, that it is already catered for and I had given a preamble looking into the constitutional provisions and I was going to my next section to say that of importance are the provisions of section 181(1) of the Constitution which provides that if the office of the Chief Justice is vacant or if the office holder is unable to perform the functions of the office, the Deputy Chief Justice acts in his or her place. From this, it is quite clear that as the Deputy Chief Justice, he or she shall have the powers to act in the absence of the Chief Justice. I therefore see no need to add a sub - clause to indicate that they should be given the powers that are already there. However, I want to thank the Committee for taking note of that and their concerns are already addressed in the Constitution and it is catered for.
Hon. Speaker Sir, the second recommendation was that during the hearings, if a judge retires, dies or is absent, where there is a difference in opinion the decision of the court should be suspended until an opinion of a further judge has been obtained. Clause 5 of the Bill provides for almost the same, it provides that if at any stage during the hearing of any matter, any judge dies, retires or is otherwise unable to sit as a member of the court or is absent, the Chief Justice shall, for that period, appoint an Acting Judge to sit in accordance with the provisions of section 166(2) of the Constitution as read with the provisions of section 166 (4) of the Constitution. So I submit Hon. Speaker that their concerns are also well catered for in Clause 5 of the Bill as well as the other constitutional provisions.
Hon. Speaker Sir, the third recommendation was that there should be a clause to allow experts to appear before the court as a friend of the court. Clause 4 which provides for the composition of the court provides that where the leave of the court is required in terms of the rules to appear as amicus curiae of the court, the matter may be heard by a Judge in Chambers or by such number of Judges as the Chief Justice may direct. Clause 17 gives the court the power to appoint if it is in the interest of justice. Any legal practitioner to appear as amiscus curae that is a friend of the court. These two provisions guarantee the appearance of friends of court and therefore, I submit that again their recommendation is also in the Bill as it is.
Hon. Speaker Sir, the other recommendation was that any person acting in his own interest or on behalf of another person who cannot self - act as a member in the interest of a class or a group should be allowed to institute proceedings. Section 69 (3) of the Constitution confers on every person a right of access to courts for the resolution of any dispute. Section 85 (1) of the Constitution which is a provision on enforcement of fundamental human rights and freedoms states that the following people are entitled to approach a court alleging that a fundamental right or freedom has been infringed:
- a) any person acting in their own interest;
- b) any person acting on behalf of another person who cannot act for themselves;
- c) any person acting as a member in the interest of a group or class of persons;
- d) any person acting in the public interest;
- e) any association acting in the interest of its members.
Hon. Speaker Sir, it is as a result thereof that I concede that we can add these categories of persons to Clause 13 of the Bill which provides for right of audience.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is however important to bear in mind that this is only limited to assertion of rights in Chapter 4 of the Constitution. So, we can include it in Clause 13 for clarity so that people know that it is their right.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the last recommendation from the Committee I shall respond to is on the need for the Chief Justice to consult the Rules’ Committee when issuing practice directives for facilitation of proper dispatch and conduct of the business of the court.
I shall now respond on the issues raised by Hon. Members. Hon. Nduna raised that there must be permanent features in terms of Braille for those that are blind and also a permanent friend in terms of sign language. I think it is indeed a noble thing that the highest court in all constitutional matters should be inclusive and accommodative of persons with disability. This however, I am of the view that it is an operational matter which does not need us to enact. The Chief Justice and the Judicial Service Commission can ensure that this is done. It is very much progressive and it can be dealt with at operational level.
Hon. Mavhunga raised that the Chief Justice’s role should be purely administrative as far as the Supreme Court is concerned and only sit in the Constitutional Court. If we go to the Constitution, Sections 166 (1) (a), Section 168 (1) (a) and Section 170 (a) states that the Constitutional Court and the High Court shall consist of the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice among others. The composition and the roles of the Chief Justice cannot be limited in this Act without violating the same Constitution that established the Office of the Chief Justice and the Constitutional Court. I therefore submit Hon. Speaker, that we do not need to limit in this Bill the roles of the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court.
Hon. Mavhunga also raised that there should be no need to seek leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court – there should be an appeal as of right. Again Hon. Speaker, my response is that Section 167 (5) (b) of the Constitution provides that rules of the Constitutional Court must allow a person when it is in the interest of justice and with or without leave of the Constitutional Court to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court from any other court. It is important to note two things from the provisions of this Section. The first thing is that it is the rules of the Constitutional Court which should provide for such and not the Bill. So, I think Hon. Members need to separate what has to be in the rules and what we need to put in the Bill. So, I submit that this has to be covered in rules.
The second thing is that direct appeal should be allowed if it is in the interest of justice. To further buttress the first point, it is also of importance that the Constitution in Section 167 (4) enables an Act of Parliament to confer power to make rules of the court. It is clear therefore that the issue of direct appeal as opposed to seeking leave is a procedural issue which should be addressed in the rules and not in this Bill. I would like to further refer to the current rules of the Constitutional Court Hon. Speaker Sir. The rules in Rule 21 provides for matters which do not require leave of court. These are:
- a) disputes concerning an election of the President or Vice President;
- b) disputes relating to whether or not a person is qualified to hold the office of President or Vice President;
- c) referrals from a court of a lesser jurisdiction;
- d) determinations on whether Parliament or the President has failed to fulfill a constitutional obligation;
- e) appeals in terms of Section 175 (3) of the Constitution and an order concerning the Constitutional validity or invalidity of any law.
- f) Again where the liberty of an individual is at stake;
- g) challenges to the validity of a declaration of a state of public emergency or an extension of a state public emergency – those are the provisions in that Section.
Hon. Speaker Sir, I therefore humbly submit that there is no need to make changes in that regard.
Hon. Mavhunga also suggested that there should be right of accused person who is in custody and must be allowed to be present when his or her case is heard in the Constitutional Court, if the accused person can afford the cost. Mr. Speaker Sir, indeed our Constitution in Section 69 (3) confers on every person the right of access to courts for the resolution of any dispute. Again the Constitution in Section 70 (g) confers the right on accused persons to be present when being tried. The provisions of Section 70 (g) are limited to criminal trials and cannot be interpreted to extend to ascertainment of rights before the Constitutional Court. Appeals are usually decided on papers and do not need oral evidence – that is the presence of the accused in terms of appeals is not necessary.
The provisions of Clause 12 of the Bill echoes with the suggestions of the Hon. Member. Sub-clause (3) of the Bill provides that a person who is in custody, whether or not he or she is legally represented, shall not be entitled to be present at the hearing of his or her appeal or any application made by him or her to the court except with the leave of the Judge. The Bill in Subclause (4) goes further to state that the right of a person who is in custody to be present at the hearing of any matter referred to in subsection (3) shall be subject to he/she paying all expenses of and incidental to his or her transfer to and from the place where the court sits.
I therefore, do not necessarily see the need to make changes in this regard. Hon. Mavhunga, Hon. Chinyanganya and Hon Phulu also raised the fact that constitutional cases should not be dismissed on technicalities. Hon. Phulu pointed out the provisions of Section 85 which provides for enforcement of fundamental human rights and freedoms. Section 85 (3) (b) provides that rules of court must ensure that formalities relating to proceedings, including their commencement should be kept to a minimum. Paragraph (c) further provides that rules must ensure that the court, while observing the rules of natural justice is not unreasonably restricted by procedural technicalities. It is important as Hon Phulu noted that Section 85 (3) states that the rules of every court must provide for procedure to be followed in cases and the issues of procedural technicalities and formalities should be addressed in the rules.
Section 26 of the Bill empowers the Chief Justice to make rules of the court. I so submit that the issues that Hon. Members raised shall be addressed in the rules.
Hon. Members who debated also raised that litigants should be allowed to approach the Constitutional Court even if they can get redress anywhere. The Bill in Clause 23 provides that the court may decline to exercise its powers in relation to any claim for redress pounded upon by the contravention of the Constitution if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under other provisions of the Constitution or any other law.
The scope of the court authority to hear cases is restricted to constitutional matters and issues connected with decisions on constitutional matters. It is not cast in stone that all cases will be declined where there is a remedy elsewhere. The Bill says the court may decline to exercise its powers; the aim being to urge litigants to exhaust all available remedies first. We do not to clog the Constitutional Court with matters that can be dealt with by other court hence this provision that the court may decline to exercise its powers – if another court exist which can competently deal with the matter then it is prudent to do so. We should note that constitutional litigation is rather costly in terms of time and resources.
There was concern on the use of English as an official language in the Constitutional Court. Let me start by emphasising that there is no language that is inferior to the other, according to our Constitution. The recognition of languages is in Section 6 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe is no small matter. It is a very big improvement. It is a matter of such importance that our Constitution has been translated in all the official languages. We have endevoured to ensure that we translate our Constitution to almost all the languages because we respect the need to recognise all the languages.
It is not a secret that in Zimbabwe, English is the language of record as it seems to be the language that is common among a majority of Zimbabweans. This however does not preclude other languages. Section 6 (2) of the Constitution provides that an Act of Parliament may prescribe other languages as officially recognised languages and may prescribe languages of record. This means that languages of record for any institution or purpose, including the Constitutional Court proceedings, may be prescribed in an Act of Parliament. The use of other languages other than English as official languages has however its complexities that I am sure every one of us can appreciate. This does not in any way prevent the fine tuning of a language policy that is inclusive and that satisfies every citizen in the country. In the absence of specific legislation prescribing any language as language of record which is what we need. We need to have certain languages prescribed like what they do in South Africa – they Afrikaans and English that are prescribed as languages of record.
With that, I believe that I have responded to issues raised by Hon Members. Again, I want to thank them for the robust debate for deep understanding of what we want to do. I move that the Bill be now read a second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BILL [H.B. 11, 2019]
House in Committee.
Clauses 1 to 3 put and agreed to.
On Clause 4:
HON. B. DUBE: I have an issue of gender equality in the Constitutional Court composition. I know the provisions of the Constitution are already clear in terms of the aspect of gender balance and gender representation, but the Bill is silent although there is an assurance that something can happen in the Constitution itself in terms of appointment. It is my insistence that there is no harm in this Bill clearly specifying that in the composition of the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe, the composition shall be in form of a zebra mechanism.
I know there will always be a debate that it is already covered elsewhere, but I am saying if we repeat it for the second time in this Bill is there any harm? My view is that there is no harm, so it must sound in that fashion. I know that there is always that perception that it is already there somewhere, but my view is that we do not get any prejudice Hon. Minister, if we just address that and make sure that if we have a Chief Justice who is male, the deputy be female zvichingodaro. Thank you.
HON. KWARAMBA: This is seconded Minister.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, my learned Honourable sekuru is totally misdirecting himself. I will explain why I am saying so. If you go to Clause 4, Composition of the Court, Subsection (1) the court’s composition shall be as specified in Section 166 (1) of the Constitution and if you go there it clearly states that there must be gender balance, so I do not know what he wants which is different from this. When we are legislating we do not unnecessarily repeat things for the sake of repeating. We clearly captured it by indicating - go to Section 166 (1) and it will tell you how exactly it is supposed to be done. I submit.
HON. MADIWA: Thank you Hon. Minister I stand to be corrected. Gender balance is different from zebra, where we are saying number 1 if it is male, the second is female, but when we are saying gender balance, the females can be at the last where we have one, two, three males. So we want the advantage of the zebra which is not specified in the Constitution.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Chair it is totally rejected. What is provided here covers what they want. The Constitution has clearly laid out that in any appointment, gender balance not zebra must be done. So, I do not have to go against the Constitution and introduce a provision that is outside the constitutional provisions. You will recall there were very progressive recommendations that were made, but they would entail that we need to change the Constitution.
I believe this is sufficiently catered for; we need to observe as far as possible gender balance, not zebra. We cannot appoint Constitutional Court justice on the basis of a zebra but on the basis of gender equality, depending of the caliber of people that have applied. We will not go shopping for people just because we want to ensure that there is a zebra at the Constitutional Court I am very glad that if you go and look at the composition of our judges as it is now; we have tried as much as possible to ensure that there is gender balance, but what we will not do is a zebra. A zebra is only provided for when you are appointing the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice where it clearly states that where the Chief Justice is female, the deputy must be a male and that is catered for. As for the other five, we try as much as possible to comply with the constitutional provision. Thank you.
Clause 4 put and agreed to.
Clauses 5 to 12 put and agreed to.
On Clause 13:
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I promised Chair, that I would make reference to that which I will concede. Madam Chair, Clause 13, Right of Audience, says ‘subject to any law’. I propose ‘subject to any law and Section 85 Subsection (1) of the Constitution’ so that it takes care of his concerns. So I want it to read ‘Subject to Section 85, Subsection (1) of the Constitution and any other law.’ I thank you.
Amendments to Clause 13 put and agreed to.
Clause13, as amended, put and agreed to.
Clauses 14 to 27 put and agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 3 to 13 be stood over until Order of the Day Number, 14 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE 53RD SESSION OF THE ACP PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY AND THE 37TH SESSION OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
HON. P. MOYO: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report on the 53rd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the 37th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
HON. PRISCILLA MOYO:
Meetings of the 37th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly were convened in Bucharest, Romania from 18 to 20 March 2019 at the Palace of Parliament.
The following Members, Officer and Officials from the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe attended:-
Hon. Rtd. General Michael R. Nyambuya, Deputy President of the Senate and Head of Delegation;
Hon. Priscilla Moyo, Member of Parliament;
Hon. Trevor Saruwaka, Member of Parliament;
H.E. Mr. Tedius T. Chifamba, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Belgium;
Ms. Rudo N. E. Doka, Acting Principal Director – External Relations;
Mrs. Chingono, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official; and
Mr. Obvious Muchenu, Security Aide to the Deputy President of the Senate.
The ACP Assembly and the ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly considered the resolutions that had been drafted by the three Standing Committees:-
The strategic significance and dimension of the ACP-EU partnership;
- The possibilities of renewable energies in bringing sustainable economic development to ACP countries and particularly to remote areas; and
- Reducing the global number of out-of-school children, adolescents and youth in ACP countries.
OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY
Hon. Joseph Owona Kono, Co-President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, alluded to the distinct potential by the ACP – EU Assembly to play a decisive role in shaping global governance and decision-making in international fora and that this must be leveraged in a more consistent and institutionalised manner, based on mutual interests and priorities.
He urged the Joint Parliamentary Assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the protection of the planet as was agreed by the Paris Agreement on climate change, which underscores the importance of multi-lateral approaches in addressing such challenges to enhance sustainable development for ACP Countries.
Hon. Louis Michel, Co-President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, started his speech by sincerely thanking Romania for hosting the 37th Session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) and their commitment to development cooperation. He referred to Global Compact on Migration, climate change, environmental crimes, the rule of law in ACP-EU countries, as well as the impact of Brexit on the ACP-EU partnership as some of the topics to be discussed.
Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, President of the Senate of Romania, welcomed the delegates to Romania and pledged the Romanian Presidency’s commitment to continue the work of its predecessors during the Post-Cotonou negotiations with the ACP.
He emphasised the need for collaboration; to base the future development cooperation framework on the 2030 Development Agenda; the need to reflect and adapt to the new challenges and opportunities of a permanently changing global context; and to leave no one behind. He subsequently declared the 37th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly officially open.
Commissioner Neven Mimica, Member of the Commission responsible for international cooperation and development, alluded to the fact that since the launch of the Post-Cotonou negotiations, important milestones had been reached along the way. She highlighted the new fundamental element of the Post-Cotonou, which makes the partnership more in tune with regional realities. Actions, therefore, need to target different regions and different peoples’ needs so as to achieve more and be more effective.
The JPA was updated on the following strategic priorities that the technical teams are currently drafting:-
- Human and social development;
- Environment and climate;
- Peace, security, governance and human rights;
- Economic development, migration and mobility;
- Trade and investment; and
- Research, innovation and technology.
The Principle of regional protocols was accepted and discussions on the tailored partnerships with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are expected to commence soon, thus giving the partnership a new strategic dimension. The African Union (AU) will involve AU mandated experts in the negotiations on the African Regional Protocol.
In her remarks, Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, applauded the JPA for providing a platform to promote dialogue, cooperation and partnership and called on member countries to intensify the collaboration as we continue to address contemporary and emerging challenges.
She highlighted the implications of Brexit insofar as they might affect EU-ACP cooperation with the Commonwealth and pledged to strengthen existing areas of collaboration and explore new ways to help strengthen the capacity of ACP countries to deepen and benefit from their special relationships with the EU and the United Kingdom.
THE STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE AND DIMENSION OF THE ACP-EU PARTNERSHIP
The Committee on Political Affairs noted that the expiry of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020 was fast approaching and the need to negotiate a new mandate for the future ACP – EU partnership is inevitable.
Whilst the parties agree that the main objective of the ACP-EU cooperation stated in Part 1 of the Cotonou Agreement continues to be relevant and parties want to maintain it, climate change, migration and terrorism are some of the most urgent issues that need to be addressed by the new framework. The need for a new over-arching and legally binding framework that builds on the partnership’s previous achievements and shared values cannot be overemphasised. The parties noted that the partnership had not fully delivered the intended results and it is against this background that the Committee adopted the following resolutions:-
The forthcoming partnership should include clear targets and measure success based on poverty reduction outcomes;
The parties called for greater action to combat tax evasion and avoidance which deprives them of vast amounts of income;
They advocated for a future partnership that will allow for asymmetrical terms of trade, defended at the multilateral level with the World Trade Organisation in order to move away from a donor - recipient relationship;
Financial support will continue with a focus to improve the quality of health and education services and not to finance security and military programmes;
Tackling climate change at the global level should be a key component of the collaboration;
Emphasis will be laid on the digital dimension of the partnership including research, development and innovation;
A strong parliamentary dimension which focuses on greater scrutiny to ensure legitimacy and bring the partnership closer to the populations that it seeks to serve; and to facilitate a more comprehensive and transparent agreement by involving them at all stages of ACP-EU policies and activities, from planning and programming to implementation, monitoring and evaluation will be maintained; and
Political dialogue and the launch of discussions on human rights and democracy will remain a central pillar of the overarching framework.
While priority should be given to the industrialisation of ACP countries, concerns were raised about the political, economic and power imbalance between the EU and ACP Group and the risk of a regional split in the future agreement.
RESOLUTION ON THE POSSIBILITIES OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES IN BRINGING SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO ACP COUNTRIES, PARTICULARLY TO REMOTE AREAS
The ACP-EU agreed to ensure sustainable economic development through supporting improvements in national energy planning and taking into account all technologies, particularly in remote areas;
The EU was encouraged to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in ACP countries but was urged to reduce dependency on fossil fuel imports and other renewable energy projects which have severe social and environmental consequences on water and food security;
The attainment of SDG 7 on ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable sustainable and modern energy by 2030 and SDG 13 on climate action as well as the Paris Agreement need to be considered as key for the development of renewable energies. Cross cutting concerns such as environmental sustainability, climate change objectives, gender and youth issues need to be mainstreamed; and
The European Investment Bank (EIB) should be encouraged to continue supporting projects that contribute towards the sustainable exploitation of renewable energy, with a view to supplying ACP communities with clean and affordable energy, particularly in remote regions.
REDUCING THE GLOBAL NUMBER OF OUT-OF-SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND YOUTH IN ACP COUNTRIES
The Committee noted that Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion and that an administrative identity is a prerequisite for access to education, with 95 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa without civil status and a legal identity. The benefits of education for the prevention of the transmission of poverty between generations in terms of health, equality and economic growth were highlighted.
It was in this regard that Hon. Rtd. General Nyambuya, leader of the Zimbabwean delegation, informed the meeting about Zimbabwe’s high literacy levels which he attributed to education assistance programmes offered by the Government of Zimbabwe.
The resolutions of the committee stressed the need to prioritise investment in education because it is a fundamental right, it is essential for the achievement of other SDGs, for economic development and reducing inequalities, for self-sufficiency, social inclusion, enhancing awareness of environmental protection and the expansion of green industries, the rule of law and conflict prevention. The EU and its member states were, therefore, called on to allocate 10% of their official development assistance (ODA) to education by 2024, and 15% by 2030. International donors need to prioritise aid for education and place it at the centre of development policies.
Education should start from the earliest possible age, address environmental issues and democratic engagement and the teaching of skills that are indispensable to adult life, such as financial management. In this regard, ACP countries were urged to place specific emphasis on educational programmes for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics and participation of all genders.
ACP countries were requested to place equity at the centre of their national education plans and ensure that hard-to-reach children and those excluded on the basis of their religion get the education they need. The report calls for all adolescents and youth to be able to access free and universal access to primary and secondary education and for sufficient public resources to be allocated for education.
Investment is needed in school infrastructure and equipment, especially rural or under populated areas, to ensure equal access to education for all without discrimination.
Training and in-service training of teachers should focus on their pedagogical knowledge and skills as well as their recruitment, remuneration and working conditions, in order to encourage them to stay in their posts and pass on knowledge to future generations.
The participation of families and communities in the development of their children is key to youth education outcomes.
ACP countries were called upon to treat out-of-school youths as a priority area, and aim for coordination among ministries and agencies, with technical assistance to be provided by the European Union if necessary.
ACP countries need to intensify efforts to equip all schools with clean and segregated toilet facilities and provide access to free sanitary products so that girls do not miss school. Age appropriate sex and relationship education on pregnancy, parental responsibility and parenthood for children should be encouraged. Curriculums should be broad-based to include education of sex, political systems and internet safety.
The African Union was applauded for the consistent steps taken to increase access to education and the quality thereof through Agenda 2063.
ISSUES AT STAKE AND CHALLENGES LINKED TO THE RULE OF LAW IN EUROPE AND THE ACP COUNTRIES
The JPA examined the challenges faced by both ACP and EU countries, which include persistent corruption, the media and freedom of expression, growing population and disinformation and unanimously called for joint measures to strengthen the rule of law and to tackle the challenges such as corruption and abuse of power, undue foreign influence on national elections and limitation of judicial independence.
The need to boost the capacities of developing countries and the cooperation between the EU and ACP countries in the fields of good governance, accountability, transparency and promotion of the rule of law, with a particular focus on the judicial, security sector reforms and strengthening of public administration was stressed. Development aid, technical assistance, training and the sharing of best practices were identified as some of the instruments to boost capacity.
In order to enhance investor confidence, a call was made for transparent law-making in the economic sphere, coupled with an independent judiciary, as a major contribution to sustainable economic development. Laws should pay particular attention to property rules, access to information and public accountability mechanisms and strengthen the oversight capacity and role of national ACP-EU Parliaments.
In order to genuinely address corruption and maintain citizens’ trust in state institutions, the need for sustained political will to tackle corruption and impunity was strongly reiterated.
The Joint Parliamentary Assembly recalled that the fundamental role of the legislature is to hold the executive to account and urged international and regional bodies to use their influence, expertise and support to assist national Parliaments in fulfilling this obligation. Cross party parliamentary dialogue to enhance national, regional and international parliamentary diplomacy to strengthen democratic institutions was underscored.
The promotion of inclusive, transparent and democratic elections and cooperation by the EU and ACP Member States to boost cooperation in the field of electoral processes was called for. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly was requested to make better use of the findings and recommendations of regional and international election observation missions and their follow up, which are key instruments to democratic capacity building.
Noting with concern the growing use of misinformation and propaganda on social media, the EU and ACP member states were urged to adopt effective policies to guarantee citizens’ access to reliable and quality information and to ensure that the rule of law and human rights are respected on the internet and in digital media. Enhanced cooperation in the digital governance field to address these challenges was called for.
In order to foster a culture of responsibility, human rights awareness, democracy and the rule of law, it was recommended that citizenship education be included in national education programmes from an early age.
ACP and EU Member States were called upon to strengthen national Parliaments, the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the Joint Parliamentary Assembly’s role of providing oversight on the safeguarding of good governance, accountability and transparency.
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GLOBAL COMPACT ON MIGRATION
ACP and EU Members acclaimed the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and pleaded for its inclusion in the forthcoming new ACP-EU Partnership agreement as a way of addressing migration related challenges in a spirit of cooperation and mutual interest.
The meeting concurred that migration has always been in existence but a coordinated approach needs to be adopted to avoid human trafficking. Members recognised that migration policies need to be based on facts.
IS OUR ECONOMIC MODEL COMPATIBLE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
This presentation by the former Executive Director of the Convention on Climate Change focused on what politicians can do to implement the Paris Agreement effectively. It was revealed that only 16 out of the 180 countries that have signed the Agreement have designed strategies to achieve the objectives of the Agreement. He suggested that policy makers require systematic sustainability assessments of investments and that donors financially support the upfront investments in technology required to produce renewable energies. A positive revelation was that China and India, formerly reluctant countries, are now making significant strides to become sustainable economies.
Following the adoption of a resolution on wildlife crime at its previous session in Cotonou, Benin, the Assembly examined the broader issue of environmental crime, which includes illegal emissions into air or water, illegal dumping of waste on land or at sea and illegal logging and fisheries. The JPA noted that organised criminal networks are attracted to commit these crimes due to the lack of efforts to combat them and the low penalties incurred. There are also strong links between the perpetrators of environmental crimes with corruption, money laundering and trafficking in humans, drugs and weapons.
The ACP, EU, JPA called for the setting up of a strong legal framework on environmental crimes at the national, regional and international levels, and for the building of stronger capacity in ACP countries to fight such crimes, with support from the EU.
The Romanian authorities organised two field trips; one to the Emergency Response Centre in Bucharest which centralises all emergency situations in Romania; the other field trip was to the Research Centre for the Quality Study of Food Products, University of Agronomic Sciences of Bucharest and the Centre for Advanced Research on Materials, Goods and Innovative Products.
The conference attracted young Romanians who expressed concerns about the future of the planet, noting the inadequacy of actions by Governments against global warming. They cited gaps in areas that have already been implemented, such as recycling, where uptake of products made from re-used plastic is low. Furthermore, they stressed the need to consult the youth in the shaping of framework programmes and strategic planning against climate change.
The session of March 2019 focused on “Combating Women and Girls’ Trafficking in European and ACP countries.” Victims, mostly women, are exposed to sexual and labour exploitation and organ trafficking. Women are targeted primarily because they are disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination. Governments’ lack of capacity to prosecute these crimes was discussed. The forum agreed that a global approach and coordinated action will be crucial in the future.
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CO-PRESIDENTS OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY ON CYCLONE “IDAI”
The Co-Presidents expressed great sadness and dismay on the devastating effects of tropical cyclone “Idai” that affected Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, affecting 1.7 million people in Mozambique, over 920 000 in Malawi and over 500 000 people in Zimbabwe.
They alluded to an indefinite number of people who had been injured, hundreds of thousands who lost their homes and maize crops due to floods and the local economies and infrastructure had been virtually destroyed.
It was in this regard that the Co-Presidents and the ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, expressed profound sympathy and solidarity with the victims of this devastating cyclone and conveyed deep condolences to the relatives of the victims.
The international donor community was called upon to allocate emergency and natural disaster intervention aid funds, and to speed up humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The European Union was applauded for responding to the dire situation. In addition to the EUR 250,000 immediately mobilised in initial humanitarian assistance, an initial emergency aid package was decided on 19 March 2019 on the basis of a needs analysis for a total of EUR 3.5 million (2 million for Mozambique, 1 million for Malawi and 0.5 million for Zimbabwe). Moreover, the Copernicus satellite system had been activated to further identify needs and help humanitarian partners and local authorities.
They also reiterated the strong call for the international community to fight climate change and global warming, which have caused such terrible disasters. Once and for all, legally binding international obligations have to be put in place to limit the emission of carbon gases, which are responsible for this climate disruption that disproportionately affects poor people in developing countries.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to second the report of the delegation to ACP/EU. I have institutional memory on the ACP/EU operations but I just want to bring the House up to speed as to exactly what this grouping is all about. A lot of Members might not be aware of why this grouping is there and what benefits Zimbabwe and the Africa Caribbean Pacific countries derive from such engagement. The ACP/EU Parliamentary Assembly which is JPA brings together members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Africa/Caribbean and Pacific States that have signed the Cotonou Agreement which is the basis for ACP/EU cooperation, development work. To that end, I hope that Hon. Members who had no knowledge and clue as to exactly what this is all about have grasped the gist of the matter.
Having said that - they confirm that they do now and thank you for allowing me an opportunity to take the Hon. Members on that trajectory in terms of educating them. There is a very important point that is brought about by the report of that Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the 37th JPA in Bucharest, Romania – the issue of renewable energy. My contribution towards that is that, wind energy for argument’s sake and nuclear energy which by the way because of the resources that we have, we could certainly derive a lot of wind and nuclear energy in terms of fatalities, for instance the avion, the birds, there is about 0.2 to 0.3 fatalities per giga watt hour of electricity generated. Whereas, fossil fuels which include energy derive from our coal and other materials that speak to and about the fossil fuel, about 5.2 fatalities per giga watt hour of electricity generated. It is key that we are only seen and had to be migrating from fossil fuels Mr. Speaker Sir because of the emission of greenhouse gasses which by the way deplete the ozone layer and in no time, we are going to be experiencing a lot in terms of global warming because of these fossil fuels. We should not only be seen to be talking about it but we should be walking the talk and who should be walking the talk?
First and foremost Mr. Speaker Sir, it is the developed nations that have a lot of these greenhouse gas emissions coming from these fossil fuels. It is not only my view and fervent hope that is going to help African countries in order to achieve agenda 2063 that they speak to and about but also to make sure that they help African nations in order that we extract our resources that are going to enhance our nuclear power generation and make sure that we divert and migrate from the fossil fuels.
The European countries Mr. Speaker Sir, will by the way have a lot of their infrastructure which is impeccable and derived from beneficiation and value adding our God given resources. They should also be seen to be walking the talk and making sure that they migrate to renewable energy. They should not only be tutoring up Africa in order that we achieve the SDGs 6 and 7 that have been spoken to and about and also our continental agenda that speaks to and about beneficiation and value addition in industrialisation premised on our God given natural resources. They should teach us how they have been beneficiating and value adding our resources. I take an example of Brussels which has impeccable, very clean underground trains. You would have institutional memory Mr. Speaker Sir, having criss-crossed the width and breadth of the European countries - Belgium in particular which beneficiated and value added the diamonds of DRC. By the way DRC is a former colony of Belgium. The streets of Belgium and Antwerp are so impeccable, premised on beneficiation and value adding of those resources Mr. Speaker Sir.
We should be capacitated and not only be tutored. Let them not only tutor us but let them migrate the equipment to African countries, assuming we are talking about the blue economy, let them give us the rods to fish. Let them not only talk about the blue economy as it relates to fossil fuel, let them give us the machinery to beneficiate and value add our resources so that we migrate completely from the fossil fuels and to renewable energy. I also want to say there should be a need and reason to walk the talk because the European Union itself championed by the ACP EU, JPA gathering - has set 20% migration from fossil fuels in 2020 as a benchmark, so that we are seen in that grouping to walk the talk. As we draw closer to the end of 2020, there is need to interrogate if we have reached that mark.
There is an issue that was also brought about in that report, the issue of sanitary wear for our girl child Mr. Speaker Sir. You would want to know that before Independence in Zimbabwe before the one-man one-vote of 1980, women were not treated as human beings. I am quite happy now and elated that at the highest level; the European Union, JPA and ACP finds time to talk about the girl child in Africa. After Independence we saw the advancement of the girl child but that advancement is about to be eroded and thrown into the doldrums and annals of history because there is no enough sanitary wear that is being given to the girl child. I applaud the presenter of the report in relation to the empowerment of the girl child.
If you want to demean somebody’s stature Mr. Speaker Sir, demean their confidence. If you do not provide sanitary wear to our girl child – by the way Mr. Speaker Sir, what men can do, women can do better. We are all born of a woman. I am plucking out of your words, you have always said we are all born of a woman and we should appreciate them in all our endeavours. I am surprised that women parliamentarians are not applauding this statement. Women alone should not have this “Phd” syndrome amongst them, because they formulate the majority of the population. It is my thinking if they held together even voting for another they could outsmart the men.
On the issue of sanitary wear, let us not demean our girl child at school going age by not providing sanitary wear. I am alive to the fact that Hon Misihairabwi-Mushonga once came here and made a clarion call for the Minister of Finance to open floodgates at the borders and bring in sanitary wear en masse, duty free, so that it can be handed over to our girl child. This is like national duty that the girl child undergoes monthly. I have been a man all my life and I have never gone through it what our girl child goes through. If I have not gone through, let us make sure we support our girl children so that in their quest to conduct this national duty, they do so with heads high above their shoulders without demeaning their confidence. They go and march slowly in their business either at school or at universities. By the way I am a He-for-She advocate and I want to champion the gender agenda and call for this sanitary wear to expeditiously immediately be distributed to the girl child without any monetary returns. I say this because we have 6794 girl - child age group in Chegutu West Constituency. I believe in that grouping because 62% are women. I certainly know that half of those are the girl child. I want - as we are empowering the nation through this report, we do not forget Chegutu West Constituency.
I want to thank you for giving me opportunity to vociferously, effectively and eloquently present a secondment to this report. I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank your Mr. Speaker Sir for recognising me. May l also add my voice to this very important report on the 53rd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and 37th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Session. I found this report very informative and educative, particularly on issues concerning climate change. Climate change is a topical issue in the sense that the entire world, as a global village, is under threat because of the effects of climate change. Climate change manifests itself in a number of ways. Some of the manifestations of climate change are the issues of floods and cyclones destructions which cause throughout the world. We experienced floods through Cyclone Idai which was very dangerous. We lost life, property was destroyed and infrastructure was destroyed. So the provisions of this session of the APC Parliamentary Assembly were very important in that member countries, especially African countries, were urged to ensure that we have to make efforts to reduce the effects of climate change. One of the ways is to reduce fossil fuels then we adopt or embrace renewable energy which is very important in particularly reducing the impact on the ozone layer.
Other provisions include issues to do with education, that which is my next port of call. It was argued from the report that education should start from the earliest possible age. In this instance, we are talking of the ECD A and ECD B. It is in line with the provisions of the Dziramasango Commission which was implemented five years ago that early childhood development is very important in that the child will be equipped with skills at a very tender age. There is an adage that says catch them young and in this instance the Zimbabwean Government needs to be commended for introducing ECD A and ECD B and children are able to get reading skills and so forth which would enable them to mature academically.
The report also calls for adolescents and youths to have free and universal access to primary and secondary education. This is enshrined in the Zimbabwe Constitution. Section 75 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe makes it mandatory for the Government to provide free basic education and that is also in line with the provisions of the Education Amendment Act which was assented to last year by His Excellency the President.
The reports also talks about investments in school infrastructure. This is very important and indispensable, Mr. Speaker Sir. It is very important that infrastructure has to be upgraded. When we talk of infrastructure, we are talking of buildings and ICT gadgets which are very important particularly for children. It will help school learners to access and also to research which is very important particularly in the acquiring of education. These gadgets should also be provided in rural areas. It is sad that some of our rural areas do not have good infrastructure, particularly the satellite schools. I am sure the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should make some efforts to assist rural schools to have access to internet. Of late the Government is embracing on-line learning as one of the mitigatory measures against Covid-19, but in rural areas how many children or learners in my constituency Gokwe-Chireya can access e-learning because boosters are also very rare to find. Maybe we may have very few boosters, hence access to internet maybe also a challenge.
The report talks about training and in service training for teachers. Why is it important to involve manpower development? By manpower development we are talking about imparting knowledge to teachers. They need to have pedagogical and anagogical skills so they can deliver information to learners and those learners will have the skills to acquire or to learn on their own with very minimum support given by the teacher. That is also important but however, the report talks about incentives for teachers. I think that is what the Government of Zimbabwe is doing to engage teachers time and again and I need to applaud the Government for introducing the US$75 for civil servants. I am sure efforts should also be done in the near future to raise it to boost the morale of our teachers.
The report talks about reproductive health education. This is a very important aspect, particularly in Zimbabwe where the Education Amendment Act talks about access, teaching students about sexuality. They need to know reproductive health education and it will allow them to mature or to deal with sexually related problems. This health education is important from primary up to university level.
The report castigates corruption. This is one of the cornerstones of His Excellency the President’s clarion call that the people should avoid corrupt tendencies. Our President E. D. Mnangagwa is well known for saying corruption is bad. We have seen people who are in authority being sued or appearing in court for corruption. So we need to applaud our Government for respecting some of these provisions of this session. I think we need to clap hands to that clarion call to do away with corruption.
Finally, Madam Speaker Ma’am, may I thank you for affording me this opportunity to add my voice. Thank you.
*HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank you for allowing me to add my voice to the report which is quite a commendable report from ACPU. It is a good report. As a teacher, I am happy because they spoke about education and other points that were mentioned by the previous speaker who mentioned that Government is doing a good job in taking children to school. The report also mentioned that in three or four years Zimbabwe is taking ECD A and ECD B children to school. The other point was free education through BEAM meaning that the Government of Zimbabwe values our children’s education because this is constitutional. Every child has a right to go to school.
We also heard that teachers should be properly trained and they should be properly remunerated. We also urge our teachers to expedite their duties with fortitude and also discharging their duties in that manner would allow our children to perform well. Children should also be empowered with vocational skills so that we will not see a lot of young people loafing around. The other thing is that projects like poultry and bee keeping and other vocational skills should be given to our children. The other point is that our education 5.0 which is normally vocational and skills based is a good model. We also know there are children who are not intellectually capacitated and some who are barred from going to school because of different reasons. These children should also be empowered with skills.
We also heard that parents should support schools. In other areas we have seen parents doing different projects through SDCs to develop their schools. We encourage this trend to continue in different schools.
We also noted that in other schools, they are making their own masks and engaging in various projects targeted at alleviating COVID-19. These skills should be empowered upon these children.
We also heard about toilets and that it is necessary for every school to have good toilets so that children can observe basic hygiene. Even young girls – Grade 4 to Form 6 should receive sanitary pads and for that, I would like to thank our Government. We also note that early pregnancies are an issue. Young girls should be taught and be empowered with skills so that they concentrate on their education instead of focusing on relationships.
According to the report, Agenda 63 encourages access to quality education. In Zimbabwe, we are blessed because our literacy rate is very high at 94% and this means that Government is doing a good job in empowering children with education. This again is because of different laws that were enacted by Government since we attained independence. I would like to appreciate this good report. I thank you.
HON. B. DUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I also want to thank the Hon. Member for the wonderful presentation which actually is very informative to this House on key deliverables as a House.
I will quickly move on to the first issue that I identified from the report which relates to the importance of education as well as incentives for the education practitioners or our teachers. I am sure that it is a serious call to this country as we currently experience a lot of disgruntlement in our education sector. It is my belief that the Government is learning and taking serious notes from the recommendations that are coming, where it is being indicated on a serious level that we need to have high incentivised education practitioners for the betterment of the quality of education because a person cannot give more than what they have. I believe that it is very important that at this point in time, the Government prioritises or takes the issue of education to another level by making sure that our teachers are incentivised.
I noted Hon. Moyo indicating that the USD$75.00 was a good start. Yes, I agree that it is a good start but we could do better. We can actually do much better than that in terms of making sure that the welfare of our teachers is made better. Incentives are even better than salaries, for example if you come up with housing or vehicle schemes for teachers. You are incentivising them in a way that is not very costly to you because you are saying, possibly every city must calculate how many teachers they have. Then in their housing programmes, they can come up with a mechanism where we are saying, for every thousand stands that are coming out in every city, a third goes to teachers. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Even if they are to pay in small installments – it is good.
We are saying that Government can come up with such policies without even incurring any cost or even to work with the motor industry and say, for the low income vehicles for teachers who may be willing to have cars, we can come up with a policy that would allow for teachers to have cars at zero deposit. We have seen that and I think in Botswana they do so for all their civil servants and there is not much from Government except issuing a guarantee letter that this person is employed by us. Then every 30 days we are going to deduct a certain amount from their income until the debt is settled. So it is my view that we can learn the aspect of how to incentivise professionals and make sure that from that, with low cost we may be able to have the best that we can from our teachers.
I will quickly move on to deal with the aspect on reproductive health. In this aspect, I will deal with three issues that go hand in hand – the issue of sanitary wear, reproductive health awareness itself as well as aspects relating to age of consent. I will start with the aspect on sanitary wear and quickly go to what Hon. Nduna indicated relating to why we need to make a cost to a woman for purposes of things that we can cushion? For example, the aspect on sanitary wear - do we really need morally as a Government to have import duty and say that we have earned money coming out from sanitary wear being imported if we are not manufacturing them and someone goes to South Africa and brings a consignment? Are we as a nation saying that we are proud to have a portion of tax coming from that? Are there no other assets that we can tax on and still cover this aspect?
It is my belief that if we are seriously genuine about this aspect we can forego the aspect of charging anything. Actually, we must encourage and motivate any organisation or individual bringing such equipment for women – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – to have a rebate even on their other businesses. For example, any business person who brings a consignment of this magnitude to the country will possibly be given a bonus of so much in terms of their taxes for having done national duty because everyone depends on that. We are all here because of these very women and if they are happy and their healthcare is taken care of, all these Hon. Members will be very happy when they come here; all these male Members of Parliament will be very happy. When you are coming from a home where your daughter, wife and everyone is happy – obviously you are also happy here. We have a very angry nation, possibly because we have not taken good care of our women and as a result, we are not being taken good care of and it boils down to these issues. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
Then on the issues relating to active sexuality, we have an issue of controversy relating to the age of consent to sex. It is 16 years old and the person who is 16 years old is regarded as a child under parental care. They have already been informed that it is within their right to indulge at that age but they are under your roof. What they have been made aware of is mainly that they have that right but they have not been made aware to much of the negative consequences that are coming from this. So it is my call that there be a serious governmental policy where this aspect of awareness, even for those organisations that are inclining themselves in making sexual and reproductive rights awareness, that there be more emphasis on the issues of educating people on the consequences of indulging more than just telling people about the rights which are actually very dangerous if they are exercised without full knowledge because at the end of the day, the girl child will not be able to complete school since they may get pregnant early. I know for us who grew up in rural areas where schools were relatively far away, at 16 we were in form 2 or 3. That is not a good age to allow somebody to say they are free to exercise any of their rights and nobody can ask them. I know at that age you are not even aware of what can happen to you. You are not even the kind of person who will be able to appreciate the consequences that arise.
I am actually requesting that as a nation we may come up with a positive policy of awareness in terms of sexual and reproductive health in schools, not necessarily explaining the right to indulge in sexual intercourse at 16. What does it mean to say age of consent - it simply means you have a right to indulge in sexual intercourse. I do not think much emphasis must be put on this but much emphasis must be put on a person being made to comprehend and be aware of what they will be getting into and what they may actually live to regret if they do not do their things right. I believe this one is now covered and I will quickly go to the other aspect that I saw from this report.
Thank you Hon. Moyo for indicating the highlight relating to aspects of corruption; corruption is a serious cancer and as a nation we are actually suffering from this. I am happy that at global level, it is also an issue of concern but what it tells us is that although we have been told that this is a global issue, what we must ask ourselves is - what we have done as a nation to actually mitigate or eradicate corruption? My honest view and assessment is that we have done a little but there is a lot that needs to be done including but not limited to making sure that those people that are responsible for monitoring and preventing corruption are taken good care of so that they are also not serious victims of the same cancer.
How do we end corruption - you end it by coming up with a strong and independent Judiciary, a strong and independent prosecutorial process as well as strong and independent police force. Are we sure of the magistrates courts - because the majority of all our cases go to the magistrates courts. The majority of the magistrates that I know are not well positioned to deal with high corruption on the basis that they are not motivated themselves and they run a risk of being victims of corruption on their own through briberies and stuff. I am not alleging that they are but I am saying there is a high risk.
Also from our police officers, there is also again a higher risk. If the salary that they are saying they are earning is true, which is on an average of about USD35 to USD50, if you convert it with the current market which is prevailing, how do you expect a person who in 30 days is expecting USD50, to seriously cater for a nation and prevent billions from being lost through corruption? Is it not easy for that person to be bribed even with USD100 because you would have doubled their income by just one transaction? So instead of then blaming them for being highly corrupt, it is us actually who are making an enemy of ourselves by mocking the people that are supposed to be fighting our cause.
So it is my submission that we need incentives for the Judiciary, incentives for the police officers, and incentives for the Prosecutor General’s office. How do we do so? We can also again go to that same proposal that I made, which is low cost to the Government; make sure that they benefit from some housing schemes in the areas that they live in, they benefit from car schemes and where possible we increase their salaries to decent salaries so that they are motivated to work. A majority of them may not necessarily resort to corruption but they will just relax. They will not work or they will spend much of their time selling the little wares. A majority of them that I know are now into chicken business. So as you go to their offices for assistance, the first thing that they are telling you is that they have broilers for sale. They are concentrating much on the ‘broilers for sale’ as opposed to the issue that you came with to their station. It is my submission that we need to incentives all these people for them to be able to work and work well for our nation. Corruption cannot be dealt with by rhetoric; it needs positive action that incentivises those that are most responsible.
Lastly, I will deal with the issue relating to renewable energy and environmental management. On this one, I will not over emphasize except to say that as a country, we are lagging behind and we are very far away from the goals that we had set ourselves. Actually, I am meant to believe that Zimbabwe is one of the areas that is naturally blessed with sunlight, I do not know if we have managed by now to have any serious solar system for our electricity except for the one that was supposed to be done in Gwanda, which is actually a subject for other discussion that I was talking about, of corruption. How do we fail to just harness solar, we get it in abundance. This is one of the countries where we have free sunshine for more than nine hours in a given day except in cloudy days, that is the only time where we may have limited sunshine. By and large, we have abundance of it. What is it that is required - very little.
In terms of power arising from wind, it is also something that is very simple to come up with. You have areas like the Somabula and Gwanda areas where the terrains are flat and you can come up with mechanisms for that. Where are we now? We are actually over-investing in reverse on the energy that we are supposed to do away with, this aspect of the petrol and this blending thing which is actually more disastrous, but we are investing more on it. We are investing more on things that we should actually be doing away with.
So it is my submission that we need to show that we are serious and we need to do so by making sure that the solar system is actually put in place and I hope Hon. Chasi when he comes, will tell us that Mr. Chivhayo would have started doing what he promised to do and if not, we will have a serious issue.
On the environment lastly, I will just submit that I come from Midlands where I have seen a lot of environmental degradation along the way especially in Shurugwi, Zvishavane and Kwekwe areas. On this aspect of environmental management, I will actually insist that the Ministry of Environment must actually give us a serious response to the issues because as far as we are concerned, we are in danger and I am sure Kwekwe City is reported to be a city that may sink anytime because of this lack of proper environmental management. So it is my submission that when we attend to these forums, like that one that we brought a report for, when we come back we must also seriously implement what we would have learnt there. We need to make sure that all those open casts that we see along the highways are properly managed and rehabilitated.
Finally, I just want to say thank you Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity and I also want say thank you to the Member who brought a wonderful report which gives us an opportunity to self introspect.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Moyo for her comprehensive report and I would also want to appreciate the different speakers who contributed positively. Looking at the report, I note that according to what Hon. Moyo said, our Government is doing a lot in different aspects that were mentioned in the report despite the challenges that we are facing as a country.
We know the source of our challenges and we know the challenges that we experience in our environment and those faced by young ladies. However, we need to appreciate what the Government is doing as Hon. Members of Parliament and also as citizens of Zimbabwe. I also note that looking at climate change, our Government is playing a key role in educating people pertaining to climate change in different environments, particularly the challenges that we faced in Chimanimani and the effects of Cyclone Idai what we were supposed to do and also if we are going to build our homes, how we should identify safe areas. This to me reflects that people need to know what they are expected to do, especially when they are educated by the Civil Protection Unit and also what we should do to protect our people from the effects of climate change. I appreciate the report and looking at EMA, which was founded by our Government so that people become aware of the environmental issues; particularly cutting down trees and the punishments given to perpetrators of environmental crimes; this was done by our Government and this augurs well with Hon. Moyo’s report. If we combine the report with what Government is doing, then we will be progressive as a nation.
I noted that Government is doing a lot, particularly in educating people despite the sanctions that we are facing so that teachers have better livelihoods. Government is also trying and right now the value of our local currency is depreciating comparing to other currencies, particularly the US dollar. However, Government intervened so that the civil servants benefit from Government initiatives. If teachers are remunerated well, our children will learn in a conducive environment. I also noted the issue regarding reproductive health, particularly sanitary wear.
Looking at the previous annual budget, the Government allocated a substantial amount towards the provision of sanitary wear and what is needed right now is that the relevant Minister should come and address the issue so that students get sanitary wear. This is a divine occurrence which affects women. I would also urge Government to continue adding more money to the budget on reproductive health, particularly the needs of the girl child and our Zimbabwean women. So, I suggest that as Hon. Members of Parliament, we need to know and understand that Government is doing its part on that issue. If we are capacitated in any way, then we need to continue educating the nation regarding the issue.
Regarding corruption, we know that our Government introduced the Anti-Corruption Commission and the President normally talks about corruption and he says that it is a cancer which destroys the nation. So in fighting corruption, I agree with various speakers who spoke before me. When there is corruption, it leads to other people being affected because some benefit despite not working and some get more money than others despite the fact that they might be doing the same job. This at times disheartens some workers and so I would like to appreciate the Government for introducing the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and I would like to urge the Commission to continue doing the good job that they are doing. We know that the Commission has also been seen prosecuting even senior officials.
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the fact that looking at the report, we have noticed that our Government has the task of doing all the aspects that were mentioned in the report but there is nothing that emanated from the report that we are not doing and even starting from the first level to different levels and right now we are doing something. So, my plea is that this august House should work with our Government so that we ensure the safety of our nation particularly our children, our environment and the empowerment of organisations like EMA so that they protect our environment; organisations like the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission so that they continue protecting the nation’s resources. All these things must be continuously done. Even as Parliament, we need to continue supporting what the Head of State desires, particularly the total eradication of corruption. I know that those who normally participate in corruption do not want to do away with corruption. So, I would urge Government to continue prosecuting those who engage in corrupt activities.
Lastly, I would like to say that this report should culminate in the creation of opportunities that will allow Hon. Members to go to different sectors and analyse how those sectors are performing so that our nation can be progressive. I thank you.
*HON. P. ZHOU: I would like to thank and appreciate the report that was presented to the House. A lot of issues were mentioned and I will not repeat what has been touched on. I want to touch on human trafficking. It was mentioned that women are vulnerable and they are mostly victims of human trafficking because out of desperation, some look for jobs that are advertised on social media and they end up being enslaved. I would like to thank Government for exposing the Kuwait cartel because the perpetrators of that crime are in jail right now. Government is doing a good job and it has eyes to see such activities. There is need to assist women so that there is alleviation of poverty even during this COVID-19 era. Government and different women’s organisations should ensure that women engage in profit making activities so that they are not taken advantage of.
The other issue that I want to speak about is the issue regarding our environment, particularly renewable energy. Many women in rural areas are cutting down trees which lead to deforestation. Indeed nowadays it is cold and if you do not have electricity, you end up looking for alternative forms of energy like cutting down trees. We see cars carrying firewood and this issue needs to be looked into so that the nation does not use firewood. We need an alternative form of energy. My suggestion is that since we have a lot of waste, be it human or litter, we need to build biogas digesters so that we generate electricity instead of complaining about dumping sites that are overflowing with waste. Different councils should go to dumpsites and council workers are aware of this. They should be capacitated so that waste will begin to generate electricity and income. That is my plea.
Regarding corruption which has been spoken about by various Hon. Members, we know women are people who are law-abiding but I would like to appreciate Government for doing a good job in eradicating corruption. The other point is that during national disasters like this pandemic, there must be a special fund and social safety nets for women so as to eradicate poverty. This may minimise the chances of them committing suicide as a result of abuse and poverty. I would like to request that women and girl children be prioritised and be given a budget so that they are empowered. With these few words, I would like to thank you madam Speaker.
*HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I would like to thank Hon Moyo for presenting this crucial report. I would like to thank our Government particularly on the education sector for introducing ECD A and B. However, it is important to analyse our education system by looking at school preparedness or readiness. We need to go back to zero - grade 3 category and understand what the mother who is raising the child is eating, how she is living because these are issues that might affect these young girls which might even affect the kindergarten. So, we need to look at the new concept of school readiness so that we analyse how prepared we are when our children go to ECD.
However, we have also noted that research shows that at two years of age, a child begins to reason and as such they need to go to ECD A and B in the right state of mind. The other thing that was done by Government which is a good initiative is BEAM. BEAM is quite crucial because it assists vulnerable children, disabled, orphans and those who are from child headed families. What needs to be corrected is the identification of beneficiaries of BEAM in different schools and communities. In other cases, those who are close to the SDC, teachers and heads seem to be benefiting. If that is corrected, then many children will benefit from that and there will not be any drop outs. There is need to look at the disabled children and afford them a chance to go to school. As Members of Parliament from different constituencies, we know that there are many children who are disabled and who are not going to school, these children must also benefit from such initiatives so that they are able to go to school.
Lastly, I would like to look at the provision of food in schools. After this COVID pandemic, a lot of households are suffering and this might result in other children not going to school. Even when they go to school, they must not just receive mealie-meal without any relish but I would like to urge Government to add upon that which it is giving to primary and secondary schools so that we do not find children staying at home.
HON. I. NYONI: My contribution on the ACP-EU report presented by Hon Moyo touches on the highlights and aspects that are peculiar to our country and I will briefly touch on three things because most of the items have been covered by other Hon. Members. I will touch on the issue of clean energy, corruption and last but not least on the issue of security sector.
On the issue of renewable energy, we were aware that Zimbabwe is blessed with plenty of sunshine which can be used to generate solar energy. You will recall last year during the drought that the Zambezi River which was being relied upon for hydro- electric power was quite low and that gave the country quite a deficit in energy. However, with solar, the sun is always there. So what is important is for the sun to be harnessed to create solar energy. It is also important that incentives and subsidies are put in place to encourage the use of solar energy.
We recall the Minister of Energy and Power Development had highlighted before they were trying to encourage the use of solar energy. However, my observations have been that it is quite expensive to set up the solar power because some of the items need to be important and therefore it is important to encourage the local manufacture of things such as solar panels, solar batteries as well as invertors. At the moment some of these items come in duty free - we are looking at these solar panels and invertors, however batteries still attract some duty. I recall the Minister had indicated that duty would be removed but up to today it is still attracting 20% duty and you also need an import licence to get those batteries in.
So that is an impediment as it is, although I have also highlighted that we need to get some of these things manufactured locally so that it might reduce costs as well. However with a subsidy, if it is put in place so that these items are affordable, it will encourage many people to use solar. In rural areas we all know that they use bush pumps to pump water. Solar powered pumps would also go a long way in alleviating the water problem. Schools in rural areas for lighting and other purposes, the readily availability of solar if it is used, will help quite a long way as well.
I will proceed to corruption. Corruption is a cancer. We all know it is eroding the moral fabric of our society in Zimbabwe as well - corruption is across the board; it is not only within the police. We have corruption at ZIMRA, the Judiciary, parastatals and in the private sector - it is all there. However, I will just give two examples such as the police and ZIMRA. In the case of our police, we all know that they are totally incapacitated. You will find a police station without a vehicle, without fuel and some of the basic necessities that are required. You will find a policeman requesting a lift from a member of the public and when he is asked to go and investigate a case, he will first say where will I get transport. So such issues cause corruption in a big way.
Officers at ZIMRA - if they are not well remunerated, definitely they will collect the revenue for themselves instead of collecting most of it on behalf of our country. So those are some of the important issues that need to be looked into – remuneration and proper tools of trade.
However, I would like to commend the Government for setting up the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. Although it is there, I believe it is still incapacitated to prosecute some of these corruption cases. It is important that ZACC is capacitated accordingly so that they are able to successfully prosecute these cases. This might also send examples to those would be corrupt people to stop doing so. At the moment, although the cases have been identified, very few cases have been prosecuted successfully, like what my colleague highlighted before -the solar energy issue in Gwanda. That was not well prosecuted and other cases.
Lastly but not least, the security sector. In that report there was a highlight on the human rights aspect. In terms of Section 481 of our Constitution, citizens have a right to life. In my constituency for example we have had fatal shooting of one Paul Munakopa, a young man who had a promising future ahead of him by our police. We also had a case at Cowdray Park where some innocent young ladies were beaten up by police during this Covid-19 period. Recently we had a case in Chitungwiza where a young man was also shot by the police. So it is very important that the training for our security sector, particularly the police - that the human rights aspect of the training, be included in the curriculum for the police.
In terms of Section 219 of our Constitution, it is also quite clear that the setting up of the police/client service charter on which it is based - the duty of the police is to protect citizen’s lives and the lives of our properties. However, if the police then go all the other way round and not protect our lives resulting in the unnecessary loss of lives, that is very unfortunate really. That is why I am highlighting that the human rights aspect training of it be included in their curriculum. Briefly, Madam Chair Ma’am, thank you very much.
HON. WATSON: Thank you Madam Chair, I just want to raise two quick points. I want to agree with Hon. Nyoni and slightly disagree with Hon. Dube. In achieving the goals set out in the report from the ACP, incentives are one issue. However, infrastructure, particularly in education is altogether something different. We have introduced the ECD A and B, but in Government schools no new infrastructure has actually been provided to cater for those pupils.
In 2015 the SADCC goal for pupil to teacher ratios was 30 children to one teacher. In Zimbabwe, it currently averages 60 to 70, if not more per teacher. For teachers to teach adequately; for literacy rates to be maintained, and for levels to be raised - infrastructure is equally important. That applies also, in my opinion, to renewable energy to the environment.
I know my colleagues - and the world is favouring solar energy. In Zimbabwe we currently rely entirely on coal fired power which is water consumptive or hydroelectric power. We have alternatives that provide medium to longer term solutions in the form of coalbed methane gas in Matabeleland North. These are hidden from us and I wanted to tie those things back to corruption. We have to ask ourselves very clearly and carefully as Zimbabweans - are a lot of our problems not related in fact to corruption? We have heard about BEAM, I constantly have complaints from parents and school bodies who say that BEAM is done correctly. We are hindering ourselves as a nation in so many regards and I really feel that we should take the ACP views, extrapolate them and try and build them into our own society. I thank you.
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the report that was presented and to the different viewpoints that were expressed by Hon. Members.
I believe that if Government addresses the technology factor in education, for instance, rural students need computers and other forms of technology from ECD to Upper Forms. Talking from the COVID-19 experience, rural students were left behind because they do not have technology in their areas yet those who are based in urban centers continued receiving their education because of technology. Government needs to address the technology aspect and that boosters are installed in different locations in the rural areas.
I also think that we need to look at scholarships. Our Government should continue and also add more scholarships so that our children can continue receiving their education and so that they work hard knowing that Government will provide scholarships. At times some students end up giving up because they do not have funding to proceed with their education.
I also think that there must be more teachers for sign language in different schools. On the same note, I think that sign language should be introduced as a subject that will be taught to students so that they understand and support children with hearing impairment so that they can fit and learn in different mainstream schools. I also think that in order for us to succeed in everything that we do, Government should give incentives to teachers in different seasons. Despite the fact that our economy is suffering from sanctions and inflation, Government should look at the rural teachers and make sure that they have good accommodation and transport so that they can be mobile and be able to commute to different areas. Some teachers do not have resources hence I believe that teachers should be given housing schemes and other incentives so that our children do not suffer. A well incentivized teacher empowers our children. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn
HON. MHONA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th July, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 21 has been disposed of.
HON. MHONA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE 75TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE 42ND CONFERENCE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY FORUM UNION (APU) HELD IN DJIBOUTI
HON. T. ZHOU: Madam Speaker, I move the motion standing in
my name that this House takes note of the report of the 75th Session of the Executive Committee and the 42nd Conference of the African Parliamentary Forum Union (APU) held from 25th to 29th November, 2019 in Djibouti.
HON. T. MOYO: I second.
HON. T. ZHOU:
The 42nd Conference of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) as well as the 75th Session of the Executive Committee of the APU was held in Djibouti from 25 to 29 November 2019. In attendance, were representatives from twenty-four Member Parliaments, namely Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Hon. Mabel Memory Chinomona, President of the Senate led a Parliamentary delegation to the APU Meetings comprising the following Members and Officers of Parliament:-
- Hon. Feleni Chauke (Chief Chitanga);
- Hon. Tafanana Zhou;
- Hon. Senator Theresa Makone;
- Hon. Spiwe Mukunyaidze;
- Mr. Califinos Kudakwashe Guvi – Director in the President of the Senate’s Office;
- Ms. Rumbidzai Chisango – Principal External Relations Officer; and
- Mr. Flavian Mutigwa – Security Aide to the President of the Senate.
The 42nd Conference of the APU deliberated on the following themes:
- The importance of the contribution of the youth to the promotion of democracy, peace, security and the rule of law in African countries; and
- Promotion of a diversified economy and local processing of commodities, for the employment of women and the youth.
The Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the APU considered on the theme
“Role of Parliaments in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Africa”
The meetings were held in the aftermath of the floods which affected the capital city, Djibouti. Delegates commiserated with the people of Djibouti and the victims of this climate change induced disaster.
75th Session of the Executive Committee
The 75th Session of the Executive Committee of the APU was held on 25 and 26 November 2019. The Official Opening Ceremony was chaired by Hon. Tarek Mohamed Abdel HamidRadwan, Member of the House of Representatives of Egypt and Vice Chairperson of the Executive Committee.
In his opening address to delegates, Hon. Mohamed Ali Houmed, Speaker of the National Assembly of Djibouti commiserated with the victims of the floods and called for collective action in the relief efforts. In the wake of increasing climate change induced disasters across the continent, the Hon. Speaker called for the adoption of effective policies to address climate change.
Hon. AliHaumed implored delegates to proffer informed and constructive recommendations whose implementation will address challenges being faced by the continent. Furthermore, he underlined the need for continuous efforts towards regional integration in Africa.
In a statement to delegates, Hon. TarekRadwan extended his appreciation to the host country for extending its legendary hospitality to all delegates of the APU. He made reference to the strides made by the APU towards creating partnerships and synergies with similar institutions. This development required commitment from Member Parliaments to undertake activities that further the interest of the APU. Accordingly, he called on all Member Parliaments to honour their obligations to the APU by paying their annual subscriptions.
Following the Official Opening of the Session, the following key decisions adopted by the Executive Committee:-
Budget for the 2020 Financial Year – The Executive Committee approved the draft budget for the 2020 fiscal year, balanced in income and expenditure at one million one hundred and thirty- eight thousand one hundred and seventy –seven euros. The Executive Committee appointed Mrs Veneranda Nyirahirwa, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Rwanda and Mr. Omar Traore, Member of the National Assembly of Mali as Auditors for the 2019 financial year.
Adoption of the Annual Programme of Activities for 2020 – The Executive Committee adopted the Annual Programme for 2020 whose activities include the following:
- Sessions of the APU (76th Session of the Executive Committee, the 77th Session of the Executive Committee and the 43rd Assembly of the APU).
- Relations with the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (Afro-Arab Parliamentary Conference and Annual Meetings of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union).
- Relations with the IPU (142nd Assembly of the IPU, 143rd Assembly of the IPU and African Parliamentary Conference on Migration).
- Relations with the Parliamentary Union of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation ( 15th Conference of the Parliamentary Union of Member States of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation).
ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 41ST CONFERENCE OF THE APU HELD IN NIGERIA IN 2018 AND THE 74TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HELD IN BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC IN JUNE 2019: THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL WHICH HIGHLIGHTED THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:
- Hand-over ceremony between the outgoing President, His Excellency Cipriano Cassama, President of the National People’s Assembly of Guinea Bissau and His Excellency Alhassane BalaSakande, incoming President of the APU and President of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso
- The outgoing Secretary General, Mr N’ZiKoffi handed over to the incoming Secretary General, Mr. Idi Gado Boubacar on 03 January 2019.
- Circulation of the Results of the 41st APU Conference to all Member Parliaments to facilitate the implementation of recommendations.
- Participation in Inter-Parliamentary and International activities such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Conference of the Parliamentary Union of OIC.
- The APU had once again made a call to all Member Parliaments to pay their annual subscriptions.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS OF THE APU
The Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the APU met on the sidelines of the 42nd Conference of Women Parliamentarians of the APU. The Committee was chaired by Hon. Mabel Memory Chinomona, President of the Senate and Chairperson of the Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the APU.
In her opening address to the Committee, Hon. Chinomona presented an overview of the African context on the theme; “Role of Parliaments in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Africa”. While acknowledging that significant strides had been made by some countries in increasing life expectancy and reducing some major causes of infant and maternal mortality, she emphasized that more needs to be done to achieve the target of less than 70 maternal deaths by 2030 in line with Sustainable Development Goal 3. In this regard, she expressed hope that the health of mothers and children would be a priority of national development policies with emphasis on effective financing of health systems, improved sanitation and hygiene, better access to health and health professionals as well as improved advisory services on how to reduce environmental pollution.
The Right Hon. Sakande, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the APU addressed the Committee, assuring the Women Parliamentarians of his support towards their cause. Accordingly, he called on all decision-making bodies to include women in order to achieve equity.
Delegates from Member Parliaments shared their country experiences which included challenges as well as good practices. Drawing from these contributions, the Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the APU drafted a resolution for adoption by the 42nd Conference of the APU.
In her concluding remarks to the Committee, Hon. Chinomona appealed for a stand-alone budget specifically for the Committee of Women Parliamentarians to enable it to carry out its planned activities. Furthermore, she encouraged Member Parliaments to form Women Parliamentarians Caucuses whose Membership will be drawn from Women Parliamentarians regardless of their political affiliation. The overall objective of such forums is to address issues of common concern to women. Hon Chinomona indicated her readiness to assist interested Parliaments with the establishment of such caucuses.
Hon. Chinomona urged Member Parliaments to implement recommendations emanating from the resolution in order to achieve the desired results.
THE 42ND CONFERENCE OF THE APU
The 42nd Conference of the APU was held on 28 and 29 November 2019. The Official Opening Ceremony was held in the presence of Hon. Excellency Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, Prime Minister of Djibouti.
In his remarks to delegates, Hon. Mohamed Ali Houmed, Speaker of the National Assembly of Djibouti, welcomed the convening of the meetings of the APU as they provided a platform to collectively deliberate on issues affecting the African continent. He emphasized that the peace-building agenda in Africa is paramount as it is a basis for sustainable development. He shared Djibouti’s desire for a place in the Security Council of the United Nations.
In a speech read on her behalf, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) pledged to continue the IPU’s collaboration with Djibouti. In appreciating the apt selection of themes for the meetings, the IPU President emphasized the need to strengthen youth participation which currently stands at 2% globally. She also called for gender parity adopting the stance “No decision about us without us”.
Hon. Hamid Ibnabdellahal Ahmar, the President of the League of Parliamentarians for Al Quds, in his address to delegates, focused on the Palestinian cause highlighting the illegal imprisonment, under deplorable conditions of women and children by Israel. He commended the APU for the selection of themes which foster peace and sustainable development.
His Excellency Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, Speaker of the Shura Council of Qatar, pledged support to help achieve peace and stability in Africa. He called for mutually beneficial economic and social synergies. He recognised Africa’s potential given its vast resources that can be used to foster sustainable development.
In his remarks to the delegates, The Right Hon. Sakande, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the APU called for the consolidation of the APU in the international arena through establishing effective political institutions that are inclusive, creating new partnerships as well as harnessing of resources for sustainable development.
His Excellency Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, the Prime Minister of Djibouti officially opened the conference. In his remarks to delegates, the Prime Minister applauded the APU for the themes of the conference which are relevant to the African continent, particularly issues of inclusivity of the youth in decision making as well as gender parity. He wished delegates fruitful deliberations.
Following the Official Opening of the 42nd Conference, delegates convened the working session which began with presentations from the Chairperson of the APU and the Secretary General before breaking into Committee sittings
Presentation from the Chairperson of the APU
In his report, The Right Hon. Sakande, highlighted the following activities centred on his one-year mandate particularly on strengthening the position of the APU within the international arena, intensifying the participation of youth and gender parity within the APU and formalising the rotation of chairmanship of the Executive Committee according to geographical regions:
- Bilateral Visit to the Peoples’ Republic of China. The Chinese were open to strengthening cooperation between the APU and the Chinese legislature. The establishment of a Parliamentary Forum was discussed and the APU should now formally conceptualise the modalities for this.
- Bilateral Visit to the Shura Council of the State of Qatar which culminated in a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the APU and the Shura Council of the State of Qatar.
- Bilateral Visit to the Shura of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia whose aim was to strengthen relations and cooperation between the APU and the Shura of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The above bilateral visits and others paved the way for future engagements and partnership programmes with various Parliaments and related institutions.
With regards to reforms to strengthen the APU, the Chairperson indicated that he had spearheaded proposed amendments to the statutes of the APU which were first discussed in June 2019 during the 74th Session of the Executive Committee.
Report of the Secretary General
The Secretary General’s report mainly covered statutory meetings convened by the APU and meetings the APU participated in since the 41st Conference held in Abuja, Nigeria in November 2018. These were outlined in the report of the 75th Executive Committee of the IPU. In addition, the Secretary General gave an insight into the state of the APU highlighting the following:
- Membership: The current membership of the APU stands at 41 members. The APU Secretariat continues to lobby other Parliaments to join the APU. Targeted countries include those in the SADC Region given that only Zimbabwe and Angola are the only members this region.
- Finances: While the financial situation complies with financial management rules, this was only attainable after selling three apartments owned by the institution. The status of contributions from Member Parliaments has not improved, with the majority of Parliaments in subscription arrears.
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED AT THE 42ND CONFERENCE OF THE APU
The resolution submitted by the Political Committee on “The importance of the contribution of young people to the promotion of democracy, peace, security and the rule of law in African countries” was unanimously adopted. The resolution recognises the role of the youth in the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which aim to promote the development of peaceful and inclusive societies, ensure access to justice for all and establish effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. The resolution notes with concern the high unemployment rates and the presence of young unemployed graduates, both male and female which can be a factor of social unrest and violence. In this regard, the resolution affirms that the implementation of youth friendly policies will ensure political stability, social cohesion and economic development. Accordingly, the resolution calls for:
- Creation of partnerships with youth organisations to increase the impact of parliamentary action;
- Reviewing of government policies related to Agenda 2030, Security Council Resolution 2250 and other relevant processes concerning the youth, peace and security;
- Supports the South to South Parliamentary Cooperation for exchanging ideas and sharing success stories on preventing youth violence, and also for youth peace- building programmes in different regions.
The resolution also calls for collective action to address issues of youth empowerment through government and non-governmental initiatives.
The resolution submitted by the Economic and Sustainable Development Committee on the theme - “Promotion of a diversified economy and local processing of commodities, for the employment of women and the youth” was unanimously adopted by the conference. The resolution recognises Africa as a continent with high unemployment, particularly among the youth and that a diversified economy is the only guarantee for sustainable economic growth and development. This assertion takes into consideration that outside agriculture, most economies in Africa are driven by natural resources. In this context, the resolution implores Africa to optimise their exploitation of its exhaustible natural resources and by so doing, create employment opportunities for women and the youth.
Accordingly, the resolution calls on:
- Parliaments to enact legislation and policies that trigger economic diversification through, among others, the existence of a business friendly environment with a regulatory framework that provides incentives to facilitate trade and reduce costs;
- Parliaments to focus their action on the development of transport infrastructure, information and communication technologies and renewable energy;
- Parliaments to promote health and education strategies to contribute to the development of human capital, women and youth;
- Skills development, entrepreneurship training, joint ventures and training courses for women and youth.
The resolution submitted by the Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the APU on the theme “Role of Parliaments in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Africa” was unanimously adopted by the conference. The resolution recognises the crucial role played by Parliaments in the fight against maternal and neonatal mortality through their legislative, oversight and representation functions. It notes with concern, the poor performance of health systems in some African countries and the low quality of care for mothers and newborns in most health facilities. The resolution therefore, calls for:
- Enacting laws to enhance reproductive health that also seek to punish traditional practices harmful to maternal and child health;
- Ensuring more effective financing of health systems for improved sanitation and hygiene, better access to health professionals and improved advice on how to reduce environmental pollution;
- Raise awareness to African governments on the need to increase funding for community health, infrastructure and equipment as well as training of public health personnel;
- Ensure that delivery takes place in the presence of skilled personnel and provide access to emergency obstetric care to save lives;
- Women Parliamentarians to organise awareness sessions with women’s associations, women’s business associations, school going girls and couples as well as in rural areas.
- African countries to take into account some WHO recommendations including care throughout labour and delivery care during the first phase of labour, the second and third phases and immediate care of the newborn and the mother after delivery.
The declaration on the resolution of the European Parliament on Algeria was adopted by acclamation. The declaration condemns the interference of the European Union in the internal affairs of Algeria. It calls for the African continent’s support of the electoral process underway in Algeria and for the respect of the sovereignty of Algeria. Furthermore, it calls for non-interference in internal affairs by the European Union in all African States.
At the conclusion of the 42nd Conference of the APU, delegates delivered vote of thanks and gratitude to His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr. Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, Prime Minister of Djoibouti, Hon. Mohamed Ali Houmed, Speaker of the National Assembly of Djibouti for the excellent arrangements put in place for the 75th Executive Committee of the APU and the 42nd Conference of the APU and for the warm hospitality extended to all delegates of the APU.
The need to implement resolutions emanating from Parliament of Zimbabwe’s participation at international fora can- not be over-emphasized. It is only through implementation that our participation can be rendered useful. It should also be noted that follow up action is required on each of the resolutions adopted at the 42nd Conference of the APU. Accordingly, the full resolutions were submitted to relevant Portfolio and Thematic Committees for necessary action. The delegation wishes to proffer the following recommendations for consideration:
|Subscriptions||Partial payment of arrears that have accrued over a period of six years. The total amount due is 134, 628 euros.||Administration of Parliament||By April 2020|
amendment to the Statutes of the APU
|The APU is currently considering amendments of its statutes. The Statutes stipulate a one year mandate for the President of the
The delegation to the APU are of the view that this term should be extended to at least two years to give the
|Proposal to be submitted to the APU by the
|incumbent sufficient time to plan and execute programme of action within his/her mandate|
Parliamentarians in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Africa
|Oversight function on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3).
Ensuring an increased budget allocation to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Awareness campaigns on funding for community health, infrastructure and Equipment and training of personnel.
|Portfolio Committee on Health and
|The importance of the contribution of the Youth to the Promotion of democracy, peace, security and the Rule of
Law in African
|Encourage political parties to adopt youth quotas that ensure the involvement of youth people in politics.
Inclusion of youth in delegations to statutory meetings and ad hoc meetings.
Oversight on the implementation of relevant SDGs, United Nations Council
Resolution 2250 and the African Youth Charter of 2006.
Presiding Officers of
Portfolio Committee on Youth
Committee on SDGs
Committee on SDGs
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. KWARAMBA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th July, 2020
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON KWARAMBA, the House adjourned at Six minutes to Six o’clock p.m.